It is not possible to study abroad without receiving credit. We have agreements with universities and programs stipulating our examination requirements, housing arrangements, etc. Students who do not wish to receive Haverford credit should feel free to select from the thousands of programs not on our list.
Transfer students must complete a minimum of 16 Haverford course credits and four semesters in residence.
Course Load Abroad & Haverford Course Equivalency
One Haverford course equals four semester credit hours on a semester credit hour system. The normal course load at Haverford is four credits per semester for a total of 16 semester credit hours. On some programs each course is worth 3 semester credit hours; students would have to take 5 courses (3 x 5 = 15 semester credit hours) to attain the four credit equivalent at Haverford. It is not a course-to-course equivalent, but one full course load at the host university transfers to a full course load at Haverford. All the program descriptions on the Programs chart have the appropriate credit equivalent for all partner institutions.
Students are required to take a full course load on all approved programs. Students who, for medical or other serious reasons, may need to withdraw from a class abroad must obtain permission from the on-site academic director and Study Abroad.
Fulfilling Requirements Abroad
Credits earned abroad on Haverford's approved programs do count toward the 32-course credit requirement. Courses abroad may fulfill major, minor, and concentration requirements. Approval rests solely with the departmental major, minor or concentration advisers. Students should contact their advisors in advance of studying abroad to discuss their transferring credit options while abroad using all specifics possible at the time. In order to receive major, minor or concentration credit, students should bring back their course descriptions, notebooks, reading lists, assignments, papers, tests, exams, research materials, etc. for their advisers to review. Students on Haverford's approved programs may also fulfill the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, quantitative and language requirements during their time abroad. Elective credits are monitored by Rebecca Avery and Dean Denney.
It is expected that students will complete the majority of their major, minor and concentration courses at Haverford. Each department decides how many credits can be transferred in from institutions outside the Quaker Consortium. Check with your major, minor, concentration advisor(s) for confirmation of how many courses can be accepted before you choose a program.
No matter the number of credits earned abroad, students must complete a total of 24 credits (of the 32) in the Quaker Consortium (Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and the University of Pennsylvania) during the academic year. Students going abroad for one year may not reduce their course load if they have APs and summer school credit. Students must also be in residence for 6 semesters and must take 8 of the 32 at Haverford College.
All students participating in an English-language program in a non-English speaking host country are required to take a course in the native language at their proficiency level for the entire duration of their stay in that country. Not all programs offering language courses fulfill Haverford's language requirement. Students may fulfill the language requirement by successful completion (grade C or above) of one semester of intensive language study at any one of the approved programs listed as Fulfilling Language Requirement.
Any student who does not fulfill Haverford specific requirements while abroad must write a petition to the Faculty committee and risks receiving no credit for the semester.
Physical Education credit abroad will not transfer to PE credit at Haverford.
Exams and Finals
In order to receive credit at Haverford, students are required to take the examinations as scheduled by the host institution. Final examinations cannot be rearranged to accommodate individual travel arrangements or personal plans. If a paper is assigned in lieu of an examination, the paper must be completed before the student leaves the program. Under no circumstances are students permitted to leave a program early. Students who leave early or arrive late risk losing academic credit.
Many of the programs abroad do not evaluate student performance by continuous assessment throughout the semester such as by scheduling quizzes, tests, and midterms. Instead, students are expected to work independently and keep up with their assignments. In such cases, the entire grade will depend on the final exam or final paper.
Haverford does not record grades from the study abroad programs on the transcript. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of C or above. No pass/fail credits will be accepted. This is consistent with Haverford's policy for summer study and study within the US. In all these cases, the grades are not averaged into the GPA nor are they shown on the transcript.
Students should check the dates for their program as the academic calendars for partner universities vary widely and may not be in complete synchronization with Haverford's. While many academic calendars in places like South America, Latin America, and Australia follow the regular calendar year, this is not the case for all locations. There are some programs—Oxbridge and LSE, for example—that are on trimesters, which requires all students to attend for the full academic year. Check your program start and end dates carefully. If you choose a specific program, you must abide by the hosting school’s academic calendar.
Requesting a Program Transcript
Upon completion of their studies, students should arrange to have a transcript sent to the Director of Study Abroad. Owing to privacy laws, only the student can request the transcript. The form requires a signature and can only be done by letter or fax, not email. Partner institutions will provide the student with one or two official transcripts free of charge. If the student needs more transcripts there may be a fee, payable at the time of the request. It is easiest to order the transcript prior to departure as it will be difficult to send payment in the local currency once students return home.
The Director of Study Abroad will automatically award credits based on the pre-registration form signed by the student and the advisors. If there is a problem with the credits or distribution requirements, students should contact the Director of Study Abroad immediately.
Studying Abroad and Honors
Each year students who have studied abroad are awarded departmental and/or College Honors. A number have also been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and some have also won Marshall, Fulbright, and other scholarships, fellowships, and prizes. Studying abroad should not jeopardize your opportunities to receive College prizes, though each department is different. If you have concerns, please speak with your major advisor.
Research & Internships
Some study abroad programs offer courses with an internship component. Haverford does accept these courses for credit, such as those with CET, CIEE, IES, and Sweet Briar programs. The internship's corresponding seminar course usually has weekly discussions, assignments due throughout the semester, and a research paper, for which students do receive a grade. These and other programs also offer volunteer opportunities and internships, for which no credit is awarded.
Research and Independent Study
Many Haverford-approved programs have opportunities for students to participate in research or independent study while abroad. To learn more about the specific opportunities available, please explore the program's websites.
- Directed Research/Field Study: Students can participate in research to investigate a contemporary, historical, or regional topic under the direction of a faculty member from the host institution. This research can be either in the field or library-based.
- Independent Study: Students can apply to take an individually-designed course on special topics not offered in formal courses, under the direction of a faculty member from the host institution.